Richard grew up on a dairy farm near Republic, Missouri. After several years of both residential and heavy construction, he served three and one half years with Peace Corps in Honduras, Central America. In 1980 he graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with his B.S. in Agriculture Education. He received his Masters in Ag Ed in 1983 and taught Vocational Agriculture for 13 years in Odessa, Missouri.
In 1993 Richard bought a farm in Polk County, Missouri where he runs beef cattle. He has fine tuned his management intensive grazing system of 14 – 16 paddocks with fescue, switchgrass, eastern gama grass, Red River Crabgrass, Legend Lespedeza, and a wide variety of native plants that grow well on his farm. Wanting to reduce input costs, he is near achieving his goal of year around grazing without feeding hay. Using stockmanship, he is able to manage his herd to utilize forages ready for harvest, sustain herd health, and make a profit.
From 1997 to 2015 Richard worked for the Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District as a watershed project manager. He worked with landowners to promote sustainable agriculture, conservation practices, and a healthier environment using rotational grazing, stockmanship, soil productivity, and resources management.
Although he had previously read and agreed with Bud Williams’ work on stockmanship, Richard didn’t start integrating it into his life and work until he met Tina in 2002. Richard attended his first Bud Williams Stockmanship School in Bowie, Texas in February 2003. After attending many more Bud Williams Stockmanship Schools, experience working a variety of animals in different situations, and over 100 speaking engagements and schools so far, Richard and Tina are able to help others with this much improved method of handling livestock as well as assist in other areas of ranching Richard’s been working with landowners on for many years.
Tina was born in northern California and lived on various ranches through the area with her parents, Bud and Eunice Williams. As an adult, she lived in California, Oregon, and Alaska before moving to Missouri in 1982. From 1990 through 2000 she lived and worked on a farm between Stockton and Bolivar with cattle, hair sheep, dairy goats, pastured hogs, and her four children.
Tina works from home doing a variety of computer-based jobs including designing and maintaining web pages and working on printed materials. These computer skills have come in handy in the work of Hand ‘n Hand Livestock Solutions!
Much like a corny country music song, Richard and Tina met in 2002 when Richard needed a web page done for his Soil and Water Conservation District. From that chance meeting, they fell in love, and finally married. They share many interests including their love of travel and teaching and feel that continuing the work Bud and Eunice started is an excellent way to combine their skills and make a difference in the livestock world.
Richard and Tina have presented Stockmanship and Marketing schools from Saskatchewan to old Mexico, from California to New York, and many places in between.